1 What is Vimovo?

Brand: Vimovo

Generic: Naproxen and Esomeprazole

Vimovo is a drug used in relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.

It is administered to patients with high risk for stomach ulcers and needs NSAID or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug to treat the pain caused by ankylosing spondylitis or arthritis. A NSAID, naproxen is used in treating pain, swelling, stiffness, joint pain, and inflammation.

Esomeprazole is a PPI or proton pump inhibitor used in treating certain conditions, in which too much acid in the stomach is produced. The medicine can only be availed if you have a doctor’s prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

If you are about to start Vimovo, speak with your doctor about what you need to know. The risks and benefits the medicine offer must be weighed.

Before using this medicine, you and your doctor must consider the following:

Allergies: If you have any unusual reaction to any medicine, including montelukast, be sure to tell your doctor about it. Additionally, disclose other types of allergies - foods, preservatives, animals, or dyes, if there are any. Read the package ingredients carefully and make sure you are not allergic to any of its ingredients.

Pediatric: Safety and efficacy of use in pediatric patients are not established.

Geriatric: Studies show that using naproxen and esomeprazole at old age doesn’t limit the usefulness of the drug. Utmost caution is required, however, since elderly patients are more likely to suffer from age-related health issues, such as kidney problems. Dosage adjustment may be required.

Pregnancy: Animal studies show that the drug may cause harm to the fetus during the first and second trimester. Adequate studies in pregnant women during the third trimester demonstrated adverse effects to the fetus.Nevertheless, in a life threatening situation, the benefits of the therapy may outweigh the potential risk.

Breastfeeding: Although there are no adequate studies in lactating mothers that determine potential risk in an infant when breastfeeding, the potential benefits should be weighed against the risks before taking this medication.

Drug Interactions: Certain medicines have adverse effects when used together. Nevertheless, it is still possible to take other medicines when taking this drug. Make sure to inform your doctor about other drugs you are taking, so that alterations and precautions will be made if necessary.

Using this with certain medicines needs utmost caution because the combination may result in certain side effects. Before taking this drug, talk to your doctor about possible interactions if you are taking other medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.

Other Medical Problems: If you have certain medical problems, how you use this drug may be different.

Inform your doctor if any other health issues are present, especially bleeding problems, anemia, congestive heart failure, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea, edema, heart attack, heart or blood vessel disease, hypomagnesemia, hypertension, kidney disease, liver disease, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, stroke, ulcerative colitis, aspirin sensitivity, aspirin-sensitive asthma, and heart surgery.

3 Proper Usage

To use Vimovo properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Do not increase the dose, take it more often, or prolong the treatment period ordered by the doctor.

Increasing the dosage without your doctor’s advice may heighten the chance of unwanted side effects, particularly in elderly patients.

The ideal time to take this medicine is 30 minutes before meals. Do not crush, break, dissolve, or chew the tablet; swallow it whole with water. Your doctor may advise you to take calcium and vitamin D supplements while using this drug.

Dosing: Follow your doctor’s orders when it comes to dosage. The following information is only for the average dosage of this drug.

The number of doses, the number of hours between doses, and how long you will take this drug depend on your health condition, your progress, and how well you react to this medicine.

For treating the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and osteoarthritis, adults may take one tablet twice a day.

Missed Dose: Take the missed dose as soon as possible. In case it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed one and follow your regular dosing schedule. Never take double doses.

Storage: Keep the medicine in an airtight container at normal room temperature. Keep it away from direct light, heat, and moisture. Do not let it freeze. Keep the medicine out of children’s reach.

Throw away any outdated medicine or medicine that is not in use. Keep the medicine in its original package until needed.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Vimovo, there are some precautions you must take. Regular checkups are important to monitor your progress and to see if the drug is working properly. Your doctor may want you to have urine, blood, and other laboratory tests.

Taking naproxen may heighten your risk of stroke or heart attack; and more likely to happen in people with heart disease. Long-term intake of this drug may also increase your risk. If symptoms of a stroke or heart attack are present, call emergency medical help right away.

Taking naproxen may cause intestinal or stomach bleeding, which can happen without any warning signs. People who have a history of stomach ulcers, smoke, drink, are over 60 years old, are in poor health condition, or are taking certain drugs, such as a blood thinner or steroids, are more prone to these.

This drug may cause anaphylaxis, a serious type of allergic reaction that requires emergency medical attention. If you experience any of the symptoms of anaphylaxis, such as itching, rash, hoarseness, breathing or swallowing difficulties, or swelling of the face, mouth, or hands, go to the ER or call your doctor right away.

Furthermore, taking this drug may cause skin reactions. Taking this drug during the third trimester of pregnancy or late pregnancy can be harmful to the unborn baby. Inform your doctor right away if you think you got pregnant while under treatment.

If you have any of the symptoms of liver problems, such as pale stools, dark urine, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, upper stomach pain, or yellowing of the eyes or skin. Avoid taking any other medicine while taking this drug. Consult your doctor before using any other drugs, prescription or nonprescription, as well as vitamin and herbal supplements.

5 Potential Side Effects

While not all people taking Vimovo may suffer from these side effects, you may need to call your doctor if any of these are present:

  • Indigestion
  • Burning feeling in the chest or stomach
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramping, bloating, or pain
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Tenderness in the stomach area
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Bladder pain
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Swelling of the face, hands, lower legs, arms, or feet
  • Chest pain
  • Bloody stools
  • Burning, difficult, or painful urination
  • Breathing or swallowing difficulties
  • Difficulty with moving
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Heartburn
  • Full or bloated feeling
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Pain or burning in the throat
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Mouth sores or ulcers
  • Swelling of the stomach area
  • Unusual weight gains or loss
  • Tingling of the hands or feet
  • Vomiting of blood or coffee grounds-like material

Some of the side effects may take place and may not need special medical attention and usually go away as the body adjusts to the medicine during treatment.

Some patients may experience other side effects not listed above. If you want to report side effects, you may do so by calling the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.